Press Release - Innovation for Textile Resource Efficiency
Large potential for greater energy, water and material efficiency in the European textile and clothing industry
- Press Release -
Innovation for Textile Resource Efficiency
An international conference organised by Euratex and the European Textile Technology Platform in Brussels identifies large potential for greater energy, water and material efficiency in the European textile and clothing industry
Brussels, 26 November 2012
The international conference “Innovation for textile resource efficiency – energy, water & materials” took place on 22 November in Brussels. It brought together experts from industry, the research and technology sector and EU policy makers. The event was co-organised by EURATEX, the European Apparel and Textile Confederation and the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing, Europe’s largest expert network in the field of textile research and innovation.
The objective of the event was to explore the key policy, market and technology drivers for resource efficiency, the major needs and challenges faced by companies across Europe, technological and non-technological innovation enablers as well as support policies and programmes provided by the European Union.
Many speakers made it clear that constantly rising resource utilisation costs, tightening environmental legislation and seriously emerging market requirements for more sustainable products constantly push companies (1) to do more with less, (2) to use and re-use resources in multiple cycles and (3) to better measure and monitor their resource consumption.
EU policies trying to conciliate sustainability and industrial competitiveness as highlighted in the European 2020 strategy will set the regulatory framework conditions for industry to operate in a more resource efficient way but also provides significant support to help companies in making the necessary changes and investments. The 7th Framework Programme for Research, the CIP-EcoInnovation Programme or the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme have already funded several collaborative projects in the textile and clothing sector such as ARTISAN (Reduction of energy consumption and carbon footprint in the European textile industry), SESEC (Sustainable energy savings in the European clothing industry), Textiles4Textiles (recycling for post-consumer textile products) or C2C Carpetchain and EcoMeTex (Establishment of cradle-to-cradle approaches in the European carpet and technical textile sectors) all of which were presented at the conference. In 2013 further calls for proposals under all three aforementioned EU programmes offer interesting opportunities for additional projects.
“Escalating resource utilisation costs are concerning the industry in Europe as much as our global competitors,” highlighted Paolo Canonico, Chairman of the European Textile Technology Platform in his opening speech, “but it is an area where EU industry enjoys a leadership position thanks to well-established expertise on materials and processes both within the industry and among the European research and technology providers and a sophisticated home market where sustainability is more and more valued.”
In the direction of the attending EU policy makers, Paolo Canonico added, “industry incentives and support programmes are an excellent way to accompany and accelerate the necessary change as they kill two birds with one stone, improving sustainability and competitiveness.”
Apart from making use of currently available EU support programmes, the European Textile Technology Platform also recently launched two Flagship Initiatives to develop and implement longer term strategic action plans in the field of:
(1) Innovative raw material approaches for the EU textile and clothing industry favouring recycling and sustainable raw material supplies from European sources
(2) Technology development and demonstration projects to turn major wet textile processes into dry and energy-efficient processes
The outcome of these two initiatives should also help to better position the sector for participation in upcoming EU programmes such as HORIZON 2020 and help making contributions to major cross-sectoral initiatives at European level such as SPIRE, a public-private partnership (PPP) for a Sustainable Process Industry through Energy and Resource Efficiency, Biobased for Growth, a PPP for the biobased industries and the European Innovation Partnership on Water, all of which were presented at the conference.
The conference proceedings are currently under preparation and will be published shortly together with key conference presentation material at the websites of Euratex www.euratex.eu and the European Textile Technology Platform www.textile-platform.eu .
Contacts for further information:
Lutz Walter, Euratex
Phone +32 2 85 48 85
For picture material, please contact:
Paulette De Wilde, Euratex
Ph. +32 2 285 48 83